Hossler, 17, falls down but not out at Open

June, 15, 2012
06/15/12
10:52
PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- On Friday at around 3:33 p.m. PT at The Olympic Club, Beau Hossler took the lead in the U.S. Open with a birdie at the first hole, his 11th of the day. The Orange County, Calif., native had played brilliantly up to this point: a bogey-free card with a nice birdie at the par-5 17th.

This 17-year-old was proceeding like a tour veteran with 10 U.S. Opens under his belt. For a moment, he was reminiscent of Bobby Jones, Francis Ouimet, Johnny Goodman, Jack Nicklaus and any other amateur who ever dared to beat the mighty pros in one of golf's biggest championships.

But then, as fast as that moment arrived, it passed with a flurry of missteps for the teenager just finishing his junior year of high school. After that birdie at the first hole to get to 2 under par, Hossler went 5 over on his last seven holes to shoot a second-round 73 for a 3-over-par total.

Still, it was a remarkable round for young man playing in only his second professional event on one of the most difficult U.S. Open courses in many years.

"I really am glad with how I played the last couple days, but I got a long way to go," said Hossler, who's tied for ninth and 4 shots off the lead shared by Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and David Toms. "There's some things I really got to tighten up for the next couple days because I know the course is going to get harder.

"I feel like I'm in a good spot for me to reach my goal of low amateur."

Farrell Evans covers golf for ESPN and can be contacted at evans.espn@gmail.com.

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